On Saturday, CLIMAL hosted a trip to Incachaca, a beautiful natural area a few hours outside Cochabamba. I had such a great time. It was drizzling while we were there, which was appreciated because the hike was challenging! Thanks to the instructors at CLIMAL who served as guides, we learned all about the area, enjoying the mountain view, a roaring river and breath-taking waterfalls. I found myself sighing contentedly. To be embraced by God’s creation brings me such peace.
“Poco a poco!” Karla, one of my Spanish instructors, said encouragingly as we slowly made our way back up the mountain, wrapping up the beautiful hike in Incachaca.
I remember the week before when Osvaldo, another instructor, said to me “poco a poco” as I tripped over words trying to form questions on the things we were talking about.
I have had poco a poco, or little by little, bouncing around in my head lately. As with many things that are difficult for me, I tend to get frustrated with my progress in learning Spanish. It takes contemplation, discernment and prayer to realize that I’m trying to measure my progress, something that isn’t meant to be measured. How far along should I be in my learning? There is no marker, no invisible bar I have yet to cross. Holding onto an internal messaging with suggestions that there is can only lead me to an ugly spiral of self-criticisms.
It’s not healthy and it doesn’t honor the nurturing love I have for myself. I take the opportunity for a deep breath. Ahhhhhh. It’s at this moment that I invite my inner encourager to start rooting for me and she begins the simple mantra – poco a poco. Things get brighter and, interesting enough, easier.
On Saturday, I leave for Santa Cruz where I will be ministering with the Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis. These six weeks have gone so fast, I realize I have so much left to learn. Still, poco a poco, I will continue to move forward, continue to learn and continue to grow.
Muchas gracias, Dios, por poco a poco!
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